CRUISE 8 – Keith Bilbrey and Charlie McVay

Danna - Keith Bilbrey - Dick

Danna – Keith Bilbrey – Dick

KEITH BILBREY (born August 14, 1952) is an American country music disc jockey and television host in Nashville, Tennessee. He served as a disc jockey at Nashville’s WSM, as an announcer on the Grand Ole Opry, and as the host of TNN’s Grand Ole Opry Live.

In 1974, Bilbrey moved to Nashville to begin working for WSM, first as a substitute announcer for WSM-FM and then as a full-time disc jockey on WSM’s FM and AM stations. Throughout his career, Bilbrey worked every single time slot at WSM and became an iconic voice in the modern history of the station and fan favorite.

In 1982, Bilbrey began announcing on the Grand Ole Opry, joining a long tradition of legendary Opry announcers, including George D. Hay, Grant Turner, Ralph Emery, and Hairl Hensley. When The Nashville Network (TNN) began televising a thirty minute portion of the show in 1985, the young announcer became the first host of Grand Ole Opry Live. Bilbrey hosted Opry Live, along with the Opry warm-up show, Backstage Live, until TNN stopped airing the show in 2000.

Bilbrey’s affiliation with the Opry earned him additional opportunities in the world of country music television and radio. Starting in 1982, Bilbrey was the announcer for Ernest Tubb‘s Midnight Jamboree, a post that Bilbrey held until Tubb’s death in 1984. Bilbrey was the announcer for CBS’s telecast of the Country Music Association (CMA) Award Show for three years.

Keith presently appears weekly on Larry’s Country Diner on RFD-TV.



More about Keith Bilbrey



Charlie McVay_3x3Charlie McVay, Jr. is a well known musician in the area as he played on the staff band for years on the WWVA Jamboree. He also is a master on rebuilding and repairing Emmons push-pull steel guitars. He now produces a unique device for regular guitars called a “B-bender and G-bender. He has built these for Brad Paisley and also built and sent many of these all over the world.

His dad Charlie McVay, Sr. built an aluminum banjo and many steel guitars. He was also a well known musician in the area.

 More About Charlie McVay



About Dick and Danna

OUR BUCKET LIST: 1950 First kid in the area with a portable radio on my bike when I was in grade school........... 1951 Built a 5 watt radio transmitter when I was in high school and went on the radio from home. Not the most legal thing to do. Built a PA system from scratch also........... 1951-1954 Learned to play Steel Guitar. Played many shows of country music on 6 different radio stations with different groups in Western Pennsylvania........... 1954 Married Danna Lewis at when she was 15 years old........... 1960 Got into Citizen Band Radio. Danna and I were two of the original founders of CB Rangers CB club in Butler. We published a call book of all of the CBers in the Tri-State area............ 1969 Danna and I were two of the original founders of the Tri-State Country Music Association. I wrote a column for their newspaper every month........... 1960 We went to Nashville. Met Ralph Emery of WSM radio and Archie Campbell, a Hee Haw TV Entertainer. Had coffee with them at Linbaugh’s Restaurant in Nashville. Archie bought the coffee........... 1965 We developed a successful network marketing business. In later years developed a few others. Greatest training on attitudes and success........... 1968 Had a Built an outdoor stage. Had a country music jam session on our lawn at home with around 500 musicians and their family from 5 different states........... 1969 Played music on the staff band of the WWVA Jamboree and backed up all of the entertainers in front of thousands of people for 4 months. WWVA was second largest country music show at that time next to WSM Grand Old Opry........... 1984 Danna started her own typesetting business in her home. Danna Vernon Graphics had customers in 3 counties. Very successful. She taught herself how to run the typesetter machine. It was a photo typesetter. She also did layout work for printers........... 1988 I taught the secretaries at Butler hospital how to use word processing and computers, but I never had any schooling or education on it. I also did some computer programming. Before this I ran the printing operation at the hospital........... 1989 I quit a good computer job and Danna and I bought a printing franchise, Minuteman Press in Butler PA. Operated it for 5 years............ 1994 We bought a motor home. went to Florida. Spent 9 years going to Florida for 6 months every year and back to Pennsylvania for 6 months............ 1995 We played music with “Spur of the Moment” band in Florida........... 2001 Never knew my dad. Met him in 2001 and Danna and I spent a wonderful 5 years together before he passed away. Went on a wonderful 2 weeks tour of Europe (5 countries) with him. He lived in Bradenton Florida........... 2002 Danna started singing and ended up running the Suncoast Jamboree in Florida, She had her own band and scheduled everything. She sang and emcee’d the show. Played many of the RV parks in the area........... 2004 Started a recording studio in Pa and FL. Danna recorded numerous CD’s........... 2007 Since I was a little kid, I have always wanted to wear the spots off a deck of cards. I finally accomplished it this year. Threw the deck away........... 2010 We started and played in various Gospel Music Groups. Country Transition, Good News Country Gospel. Played churches all over Western Pennsylvania........... 2010 We played music on television shows on WHCU-TV Kittanning........... 2010-2014 Danna and I did a 30 minute interview talk show, Danna’s Radio Diner, on WTYM & WAVL radio. Over 30,000 hits from over 100 countries on our website as of June 2017. Still get many hits every day........... 2010 Danna and I were on TV participating in Family Life TV WHKU helping their Christmas Auction on television........... 2011 Danna and I both read our first commercial to be broadcast on WTYM radio. Also I wrote a radio promo and a short radio script........... 2012 Operated a TV camera on a live TV show on WKHU-TV........... 2013 Produced an hour TV show – Armstrong Trails on WKHU-TV Kittanning, PA. Produced a monthly live country music dinner show with various bands at WTYM radio........... 2014 We went on a country music cruise and interviewed 12 top county music TV stars for our radio show........... 2014 Rode for an hour in the cab beside the engineer of a locomotive on Kiski Jct. railroad. Broadcast it on one of our radio shows........... 2014 Played Steel for Nashvile recording star Teea Goans when they came to Kittanning on WKHU-TH and WTYM Radio. Also in 2013 backed up Joann Cash (Johnny Cash sister)........... 2015 Started Danna’s Internet Café, an internet radio show. Also shows were run on WXED-FM 107.3 and WFSN-FM 96.7. for a year and a half........... 2016 I bought a Uke Bass and learned to play it. Played a jam session a week later. Sounds like a big upright bass.
This entry was posted in Danna's Radio Diner Archive and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s